Different Types of Steel in Various Industries

  • Modern contractors and corporations understand what steel they need and what type of steel best suits their application. Many businesses and individuals require steel and pipe in the Cape Town area, meaning there are a plethora of companies that supply a variety of steel types and alloys, which are used in a variety of industries. (Information credit: https://spfa.co.za/)

    So, what are steel pipes used for?

    Steel and pipes are mainly used to transport water, energy generation, as well as a variety of automotive applications.

    With this taken into account, it is essential that you understand which steel type best suits a specific application. For example:

    Carbon steel is best suited for transporting water, sewage and other fluids. Carbon steel is highly resistant to shock and pressure, which makes it the ideal choice for this application, as water pressure and external pressures constantly change. These pipes are subject to a variety of external pressures and vibrations, as they are commonly installed under roadways or sidewalks. This means that, if there is traffic congestion, the roadway foundations and piping underneath it need to be able to withstand an increase in load.

    This is why Carbon steel piping is the ideal alloy for this application.

    Another application of steel and pipe is as a medium of transportation for gases and pressurised liquids. The primary alloy used in this industry is stainless steel, because it comes into contact with a variety of corrosive forces, namely: pressurised water and gases, such as steam. Other metals and alloys are not used in these piping systems, as they are not be able to withstand these forces for a prolonged period of time.

    However, stainless steel is just a blanket term used to describe a metal alloy that contains chromium, manganese, silicon, nickel and molybdenum. These elements give stainless steel its corrosion resistant properties.

    The final application of steel and pipes that we will discuss is in the automotive industry. Stainless steel is found in the machinery workers use in automobile assembly lines, as well as in the actual vehicle itself.

    Steel piping is used in the manufacturing of exhaust systems. This is because the exhaust fumes are hot and contain some corrosive chemicals. Modern exhaust systems are primarily made of stainless steel, due to the increased durability requirements.

    Another application in the automotive industry is collision protection and structural integrity, with components such as the chassis and support beams in the engine bay being made of steel and pipe. These components form part of the crumple zones, which are specific systems that automobile manufacturers design to absorb energy in a collision. These zones greatly increase the safety of passengers in a vehicle in the event of a crash.

    So, to conclude, it is important to note that steel and pipes are used in a variety of applications and can be found in systems that enable and support the modern human lifestyle. These systems are transporting water and sewage, energy generation and collision protection and exhaust systems.